My First Marathon, Courtesy of Nexercise! (A Nexerciser’s Story)

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As I sit here in my recliner on this cold January evening, I am filled with a kind of pride and satisfaction I thought I would never feel and I’ve been running for more than 25 years. I started running back in 1985 in order to qualify to teach an aerobics dance class (think leg warmers and sweat bands!). I taught that class and ran – rarely more than three miles, for just under two years when we decided to start a family. Running was placed on the back burner, only really going when time permitted.

Over the years, I’ve become a more consistent runner and have really come to love the sport. I love entering races, though not to win, just to be among those who share the same passion for fitness that I do. I’ve won my share of age group medals along the way, but that’s not what keeps me going. A little more than a year ago our eldest daughter, Anna, ran in the Chicago Marathon for the first time (her first marathon). It was the weekend of our anniversary so we decided to spend the weekend celebrating our time together as well as her coming event. Our second daughter, Caitlin joined us as well to support her sister. Their brother, Jack – serving in Afghanistan for his country, was with us all in spirit! On the way to Chicago, my husband, always on the lookout for fun, engaging apps, discovered Nexercise as an app that might be interesting to try, especially to earn rewards!

Curious, Anna dove right in and began using it religiously. When she got her first reward of a gift card, I thought I’d give it a try. The day of the marathon, as we walked and ran around that great city, tracking all of our miles and steps with Nexercise, I felt a kind of longing to be a part of that feeling in a different way! The atmosphere in the city was one of accomplishment and pride and I thought how cool that must feel to be part of something so big! The thought never really left me, and our daughter made a comment about me being in good enough shape to tackle a marathon and that she’d love to do one with me – the seed was planted.

In the spring of 2012 we went to Florida for our annual spring break vacation and my husband and I spent three days in Disney before we headed for our vacation spot. While there, we visited Downtown Disney and spent some time in the sports shop. There were plenty of visual reminders of the 2013 Disney Marathon about and as we shopped we talked about me signing up and completing the marathon with our daughter. So, with Easter upon us, we tucked a 26.2 magnet in her basket and I surprised her with an “In training” jacket! The next month we signed up for the Disney Marathon! Oh my!

Our training plan began in the fall with some longer runs and all along we used Nexercise to track our times and mileage. One especially cool feature of Nexercise is the buddy points that can be earned while exercising at the same time as one of your friends. Even though Anna and I live 3.5 hours away from each other, we can start our Nexercise app within 5 minutes of each other and gain extra points for exercising together! We’ve both gained countless buddy points and it couldn’t be easier! We’re (N)exercising together more than 100 miles apart and that made training that much easier!

Fast-forward to January 13 and the morning of the Disney Marathon! I was excited to begin the longest run of my life but I wasn’t worried – we had trained well and had no injuries to trouble us! Our magical day began before 3 a.m. as we headed to the start and our time together on the course was fun! We finished with a time of 4:17 (officially) and were the 800the and 801st female runners out of 10,000+! Not bad for a first (and second) marathon!

Thanks to the Nexercise team for their support of our effort to continue to train together, geographically apart as we are! I haven’t ruled out a second marathon….yet, but it may be awhile before I decide for sure. In the meantime, Nexercise is my app of choice when I’m out on the road and if you see me, give a wave!

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You just finished reading another one of our user-generated posts. You can see pictures of Laura and Anna in our Nexercise Nation album, and you can also read Anna’s blog. Enjoy!

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